My favorite things to do in Chicago

Hi everyone! Today I am going to be talking about my favorite things to do in Chicago. I am a huge fan of Chicago and I try to go as often as possible. I am going at the beginning of September and I am so excited! I thought I would share some of my favorite places to go, eat, shop, stay and take pictures at! Because there are so many places that I would like to mention in this article, I think I will do a part two of this after I get back from Chicago in September.

1.The Art Institute of Chicago

ARTIC is by far my favorite art museum that I have been to. The second largest art museum in the country, it was opened in 1879 when the city of Chicago was rebuilt after the Chicago fire. Did you know the first collection that ARTIC owned was a collection of porcelain cats? A great thing about ARTIC is that t on the back of the map, they have some paintings that you can see if you are only at the museum for an hour! This is really great because it allows you to see some of the most famous paintings in history in only an hour!

Minnie’s Tip: Check out the cool lions in front of the building! The North and South Lions were gifts to the museum when it first opened! I have a little tradition of taking a picture in front of the South Lion every time that I visit(no hate on the North Lion, though.)


Here’s me by the South Lion- all dressed up for the Holiday season! I have been the Art Institute 3 times since is visit, which was last Christmas, but I like this picture the best.


2. Magnolia’s Bakery

Loved by Carrie Bradshaw(and me), this tiny, adorable cupcake shop not only makes delicious vanilla cupcakes and mochas, but it is a fantastic place for instagram pictures. I know it sounds vain, but I’m probably not going to go get breakfast there if it doesn’t match my feed. Fortunately, the tables at Magnolia’s are white marble(a classic, but beautiful choice) which will flatter nearly every instagram feed. One of my favorite things about Magnolia’s is that they have a cupcake of the day! Obviously, you can try any of their classic cupcakes, but this is a fun twist. You can view the cupcake of the day menu here.

Minnie’s Tip: I highly recommend the table next to the door-it is right next to the window and it is excellent for people watching.


A mocha, vanilla cupcake, and my favorite sunglasses( which I left somewhere in California this last week… very sad.)

3. Macy’s

The Chicago Macy’s has a special place in my heart. So many floors of pure happiness, shoes, accessories, clothes, holiday items, Waterford crystal( so pretty), bedding, and-of course, restaurants. Almost every time that I visit Chicago I go to the Walnut Room. It is the restaurant on the 7th floor of Macy’s and it has been open since 1907! Famous for the chicken pot pie, the Walnut room is an excellent choice for lunch or dinner! The absolute BEST time to go is during Christmas for so many reasons. You will have the best service then, the decorations are incredible, and you will get to see the Christmas Fairy who brings around little treats!


As you can see, the Macy’s on State Street is huge!


This is a picture in the Walnut room from Christmas! Every half hour the projection of the ceiling would change graphics and colors!


4. The Marriott Renaissance

This hotel us one of my favorites. I have been to a few hotels in Chicago but this is by far my favorite. It has been re-done quite recently, so there are not too many pictures of the beautiful lobby. I can say that the interior is now very modern and edgy. It is quite different from the classy, flower filled lobby-but I still like it. My favorite part of the hotel is the pool. You may know that I am a competitive swimmer, so I am definitely one to applaud a good pool. The pool at the Renaissance is on the top level and has a glass ceiling above it-so that when you are into the pool, you can look up and see some of the sky scrapers. It is really quite beautiful.

5. Corner Bakery

The Corner Bakery is the perfect place to stop for a snack when you are just getting into the city, shopping, or looking for a healthy breakfast option. I love to stop in when I am shopping at the newly-renovated Nordstrom! Anything that you can get here is amazing and the chopped salad is one of my favorite salads( somehow all three of my favorite salads are from restaurants in Chicago…)

I hope you enjoyed reading this article, I had lots of fun writing about my favorite places and I can’t wait to do a part 2!




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On my nightstand: Leave Your Mark

Hi guys! Today I am doing a book review. The book I will be talking about is called ‘Leave Your Mark’ by Aliza Licht. Aliza is now the founder and president of Leave Your Mark LLC, after the success of her book, but she used to be the DKNY PR girl. In her book, she talks about the many different jobs that she had and the important lessons that they taught her. Aliza’s book is broken up into 3 sections: land your dream job, kill it in your career, and rock social media! Each one offers helpful tips and first-hand experiences, paired with advice on how not to make the mistakes that she did. I highly recommend this book for some #career inspo and advice on everyday situations and social media.


Also, how cute is the cover? I love everything about it-from the lipstick print to the turquoise background. I also included some of my favorite beauty essentials that I have been using a lot lately. This little bottle of living proof hair cream smells amazing and basically ensures you will never have a bad hair day again. I am in love with this shade of the Clinique chubby stick! I have purchased it in this beautiful color called pudgy peony and it adds the perfect pop of color to any outfit. I am working on a fall look book for you guys and I am so excited!

Thanks for reading!


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Leaving California

Hi guys! I am currently sitting at the airport preparing for my flight with some summer school work and tea. Sadly, I am leaving California tonight on a very late flight back to Indy. Wednesday morning, we switched from our airport hotel to one with beach access to the Santa Monica beach. I am not a huge fan of the beach on the West Coast- I didn’t see a single seashell! Anyways, the Santa Monica pier was very busy all the time, but it was still very cool to see all of the little shops. On our last night, we went on the Santa Monica Ferris Wheel! The Pacific Wheel was the world’s first solar powered Ferris wheel and has provided over 3 million rides!


This is not a great picture, but the view was stunning. We went on the Ferris wheel right after we went to Malibu for dinner and the sun was just starting to set. And of course, no trip to California could be complete without a visit to In ‘n Out! We went this afternoon for lunch and it was delicious( I think I am still partial to the Varsity in Atlanta.)

I may have developed a slight addiction to Joan’s on Third- I have been 3 times in the last 24 hours! I would highly recommend the iced vanilla latte.

Joan’s on Third in Santa Monica, California!

The shopping in Santa Monica is unparalleled. I went shopping on the 3rd street promenade 4 times in 2 days! My personal favorites were the Brandy Melville and the Lush. I was infatuated with the Brandy Melville store-as I had never been to one, and I thought it was much larger than I though it would be. I was also really happy that a lot of the Brandy merchandise said California on it, because I found that many of the souvenir shops were overpriced.The entire store is covered from floor to ceiling in stickers and vintage patches. The Lush was very small but had great customer service.


That’s it for now!



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A day in LA: Chinatown and LACMA

It is only 6 o’clock here in LA and I am already so tired! I had a great flight this morning but the rest of my day has been a whirlwind of fun and running around. We went straight to the hotel(which is very close to the airport) after we got off the plane, grabbed some much-needed coffee from Starbucks, and then I lounged at the pool for a few hours and attempted to catch on Daniel Silva’s series! Then, we ubered over to Chinatown to pick up some things!


How pretty are these hair clips? Everything is so inexpensive!



I was so distraught that these shoes didn’t come in my size! They are little black slippers with embroidered roses on them! I will try and keep a look out for other places that sell them in LA.


I got some pretty cute hair accessories and some birthday presents for my sister(shhhhh, don’t tell)! Last, we went to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Some background on the Los Angeles County Museum of Art(LACMA): it was officially opened in 1965, it is one of the largest art museums in the western United States, and it holds on of the largest collections of Islamic art in the world! Isn’t that crazy? A few weeks ago when I was on the website, I noticed this program they have where if you are a child or a teen, you can get a free membership! It was really cool because all I had to do was go into one of the buildings, fill out a form and you get free entrance to the museum, most special exhibitions, and an adult with you gets free admission as well.


Here is the pass(they forgot an ‘e’ in my name.) We saw the Royal Hawaiian Feather work exhibit, Agnes Martin exhibit, and the sculpture garden-to name a few. I am currently at the pool soaking up the sun before it closes!

Outfit post tomorrow!


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What I’m bringing on my carry-on to LA!

Hey guys! I am leaving for Los Angeles tomorrow morning and I am so excited! I was told that the flight will be 4 hours long so I made sure to pack everything I would need on the plane in advance.


The first thing that I packed was my sunnies and my headphones. I have already made a playlist for my flight so that I won’t be needing to find a new song every 3 minutes. IMG_1463

I obviously need my laptop so that I can blog! I have a Surface 2 that I adore and I packed my charger for it and my iPhone.


These are the books that I am currently reading! I have a book about art history that is very interesting, as is this little fact book about famous artists! I also packed this beach novel about teens in California. Not pictured is colored pencils and a coloring book with pictures of New York in it.


My summer reading book is Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. I have only recently started on it so I thought I should bring it with me on vacation so that I can study.


I brought all the sunglasses that I am bringing on my trip in my carry-on so that don’t get smashed in my suitcase! Also, my Anker charger is a lifesaver and I use it almost everyday.


Lastly, I have popcorn and chocolate for the flight. I am sure that I will be getting coffee too, because my flight leaves at 5 am!



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4 ways to get organized before school starts

Although the summer continues on with over-90 degree weather, I cannot ignore the signs that school is begin to creep into the corners of peoples mind. Target’s school supplies section is in full swing, stores are advertising newly-arrived uniforms, and some of my favorite youtubers have begun posting back-to-school tips and tricks. This summer I have been incredibly busy with my internships, volunteer work, and my swimming! I can only imagine how busy I will be with my schoolwork and social and academic obligations. I have included my top 5 ways to get(and stay organized) this year! If you like this post, I can start posting more back-to-school posts before school starts.

1.Get a planner

I thought this would have been a given, but I know lots of people that do not use a planner and I am so so surprised! I just recently bought the “create 365:happy planner” and it is amazing! It has lots of room to write down everything I need to do, a very helpful notes section on every page, and at the beginning of every month there is a cute page where you can write down your goals, important events, and things that you are loving for that month. I have previously used the Vera Bradley student planner and although it was cute-I was not a huge fan. My mother has used Lilly Pulitzer planner for as long as I can remember and she loves them. I have had 3 Lilly Pulitzer planners in the past and they were amazing, but I need to switch to something with a bit more room. If you don’t think you will need lots of room, I highly recommend the Lilly planners, as they come in various sizes, are durable, and they are a very good price-considering that they have two years of planning in them.

And for the tech savvy, you can always use the calendar app on your phone! I personally like being able to writ out everything and then look at my entire week as a whole, but I can defiantly see the appeal of using your phone. Once you have your perfect planner, you may want to decide how you will write things out. This may seem super basic, but if you are going to color-code your planner(which I do) you will need to figure that out in advance. I use a red pen because my school’s main color is red, light blue for my high school swim practices, dark blue for my club swim practices, pink for social events, purple for my internships, and green for miscelenous.

2. Make a list of your top priorities

I recently started making priority lists for myself and they have been so helpful. I make one of my top 5 priorities for the week on the right side of my planner and I sometimes make one for my month as a whole to help with my goals. An instance in which a priority list is most helpful is when you go to a meeting and have list of questions that you want to be answered. You can make a list of your top 5 or maybe 10 questions, and when you have them written down, you won’t forget to ask, and you can write down the answers beside them.

3. Get a morning and night routine

One of the easiest ways to have more times in the morning is to make a morning routine. This will just the typical things that you do in the morning in a certain order. Planning your outfits out in the morning and getting your school bag prepared will save you lots of hectic time in the morning and you will have extra time to study for classes, scroll through your instagram, or make some tea.

4. Use technology to your advantage when studying

Although it takes a huge amount of sled control, using technology when studying is really useful. Firstly, if your school uses a grading system that has an app, it is very helpful! For example, my school uses PowerSchool-and they have an app for phones, which makes it really easy to check my grades. Next, Quizlet is probably one of the most useful-if not the most useful, studying apps to have. If you don’t know what it is, it essential is an app that has digital flashcards that you can study with, quiz yourself, and play memorization games. I make flashcards for all of my classes and then I have folders for every class. Also, if you don’t want to spend time making them, you can look up that class and someone has most likely already made cards that you can use.




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